Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gas for $2.91

I bought gas yesterday morning for $2.91 per gallon. I keep track of my gas expense in a little book in my car, and that's the lowest I've paid since I've been using that particular book starting in March 2012. Although, when I got up by my workplace on the North side, two gas stations there had it for $2.89. However, by the time I got back home last night it was back up to $3.19. For a change I actually got it before it went up.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The mark video

So, Mark D's name has been in the news again, and again, and again. Now he has finally resigned, and it's in the news as much or more than ever before. Make no mistake, I do not wish to defend anything he has done, nor comment on his resignation. Actually, I don't really know much about anything having to do with him. However, after watching this video, I would like to hear a defense for the behavior of those attacking his family (that's a rhetorical question - I can't think of a Christian defense for such a thing).

I will say this, I can relate to his situation only insofar as the pain I felt for my family when I was let go as a pastor. Say what you want about me - and, yes, it hurts too - but when my family is mistreated... well, that's not easy to take. To be perfectly honest, that's really the only thing that still gets me riled up.

Anyway, back to this video, I don't know who the guy is that asks Mark up to the stage - and I've never heard of this conference - but I think it's worthwhile to listen to. I like how he said, "Since someone's already been crucified for him, let's restore him with a spirit of gentleness." Hard to argue with that. I know I greatly appreciate those of you who have been there to help me find healing and journey towards restoration. Give the video a watch...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Weekend in atlanta

M'Lady and I took a visit to son Isaac and his bride (Ricci) in Atlanta, Georgia this past weekend. We had a splendid time. Everything from the scenic drive, to the activities there, were fantastic. We arrived Friday evening and went out to eat in Decatur (near our hotel). Saturday we toured the Emory/Candler campus, and then went to the Martin Luther King Jr. national historic site. We went out in Decatur Saturday night. Sunday we visited some unique shops in Atlanta and kind of just hung around, then had supper at Isaac and Ricci's on their screened in porch. Monday we drove home. Below are just a few random pics I took on my phone.

As for the drive... It took us about 11 hours both ways. Google said it would be 9 hrs 40 min. That obviously didn't account for road construction and traffic. Ugh.

On the way down, we left around 8:30 am and took I-69 to Indianapolis and picked up I-465 and then I-65 South. We stayed on that all the way to Nashville, TN, where we picked up I-24 East, and stayed on that until Chattanooga, TN where we picked up I-75 South. That goes straight into Atlanta. The worst parts of the trip down were the stretch between Indianapolis and Louisville. There was SO MUCH construction, and traffic moved so slow, that whole stretch. Then we hit Chattanooga right during rush hour, and it was really slow going there. Other than that it wasn't too bad. I believe we stopped 3 times for gas on the way down.

On the way home we left around 8:15, but we got kind of turned around. The GPS on Jane's phone was being stupid, so we went back and forth, and it was probably 8:30 when I finally remembered that I had printed off actual directions. So we grabbed those and then stood still in traffic on I-285 in Atlanta. It literally took us almost an hour just to get out of Atlanta. Then, once we finally got to I-75 North, we were right behind a car that lost control. They crossed all 6 (or 8) lanes of traffic going in both directions sideways before finally coming to a stop in front of us. Then they just took off again. When we passed the lady she was just chatting away on her headset. I can't believe no one hit her.

Anyway, the rest of the way home was pretty clear all the way through Nashville. There was some construction in Nashville, and then about half way home I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore so I asked Jane to drive. It wasn't bad until getting into the construction going through Louisville, and then it was just insane again from Louisville to Indianapolis. Jane did a good job of driving though, and we made it home around 7:30 pm.

Isaac and Ricci are doing well. She seems to like her teaching job (4th-6th graders), and I think Isaac is enjoying being in school again. They seem to be making friends - even though they haven't found a church yet. Their house is set up really cute, and Crosby seemed excited to have visitors. He's a pretty cool dog. We didn't hang out at their house too much - didn't want to cramp their style - and fortunately we had a pretty decent hotel this time. We stayed at the Emory Holiday Inn Express. It was really nice for a small, non-fancy hotel. We ate the free breakfast there every day. There was also a nice little grocery store within walking distance.

Atlanta is a really nice city. It doesn't seem to be as "urban" as a lot of cities. There are trees and grass and stuff everywhere. And everywhere we went it seemed that people were nice. I guess that's what they call "southern hospitality." The roads are a bit strange though... I guess as a result of segregation and racial issues from years ago.

We ate at a 'slice & pint' on the first night. Saturday we had lunch at a little place by campus, then supper at a Spanish place off the Decatur square. Sunday we had lunch at 'Yeah! Burger' (it was fantastic), and had supper at Isaac and Ricci's. They took us to their "world" grocery store (or whatever it's called), and that was a cultural experience in itself. It was crazy, but fun.

I'm sure there is a bunch I am forgetting. The MLK Jr. museum and things were very cool. I really enjoyed that. We also went to a really nice (and big) antique store. I saw a bunch of religious pictures that I wanted, but they were all kind of expensive. I did pick up some Yuengling beer while I was there though. Priorities. All in all it was a great time and I'm glad we got to go.

The Candler School of Theology where Isaac is a student.

Banner inside the door at Candler.
The Emory ethics department is housed in the Candler building.

Jane, Isaac & Ricci outside the Emory University Hospital.

The entrance to the church MLK Jr. attended & led.

This is where MKL Jr. grew up, and later preached.
A plaque in the basement of Ebeneezer Baptist Church.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

No church today

It's a Sunday morning and we are just hanging around our hotel room. We are visiting son Isaac and his wife Ricci in Atlanta, Georgia. We're going to their house around lunchtime. So we slept in, watched some tv, and took a walk around the block this morning. There was a day when I would have used this as an opportunity to visit an Atlanta area church - maybe Andy Stanley's church, or Ebeneezer Baptist (where MLK preached), and I even thought about Eastside Church (the pastor is from Huntington, IN) - but instead we're just lazing around. I'm not proud, or ashamed, just saying that's how it is. So... that's how it is this morning.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday in atlanta

Sitting in our hotel room in Atlanta, Georgia right now (actually our hotel is in Decatur, GA). It has been a fun day so far. Took a tour of Emory University and the Candler School of Theology, then toured the Martin Luther King Jr national historic site. More later about all that. Just needed a post for the day. Doing it on my Kindle.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cars serviced

We got both our cars serviced yesterday. Jane had the day off so we dropped off the '11 Ford Escape first and Jane took me to work. Around noon she picked it up and dropped off the '02 Buick Century. Later in the afternoon the owner came to our house and gave Jane a ride back to the shop to pick up the Buick, then she picked me up from work.

Just oil changes for both of them. This was the first time we took the Escape in since we bought it.

We have the best mechanics imaginable.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My turn at coaching... and a few other things

Yesterday it was my turn to do the coaching in my 10-hours of training to become a Certified Christian Leadership Coach. I wrote about it here. Each of the 7 students takes a turn coaching and being coached, while the rest of the group listens and offers feedback afterward (along with the person coaching us). I wasn't supposed to do mine for several more weeks but the guy that was supposed to coach yesterday didn't know if he would be able to (prior commitment), so I gladly volunteered to go ahead and get my turn out of the way. I coached Steve W.

I thought it went okay. I felt very comfortable doing it - though it is a tad unnerving knowing that everyone else is listening and grading me. It actually made me more aware of the times when I worded questions poorly and things like that though. Plus it helps knowing everyone is there to help one another, rather than just be critical. So I was satisfied. I learned a little more, and was encouraged that maybe I can do this. I would give myself a B-. I imagine by the end of this course I will be much better at it. The biggest issue I had was... since we were all on the phone (or computer), it sounded like someone was snickering several times when I would ask a question or make a comment. I didn't 'think' they were laughing at me, but it was a little distracting. I'm not sure who it was, because we were all supposed to mute ourselves if we weren't talking. It's also possible it was some other noise that just sounded like snickering. Anyway, I didn't worry about it too much, but it didn't help. Overall, I am really glad I signed up for this class though.

And... speaking of coaching... I was saddened to hear that basketball coaching legend Wayne McClain passed away yesterday. He was one of the winningest coaches in Illinois history at Manual High School in Peoria, then went on to work as an assistant at the University of Illinois for many years. Most recently he was the coach at Champaign Centennial High School. I think he was only 60. I guess he was in the hospital with pneumonia, and it was only after he passed away that anyone other than his doctor found out he'd had lung cancer for like 2 years. He just didn't tell anyone about it. I never knew him, but knew about him since I lived close to Peoria for most of my life. He seemed like a real stand-up guy; sort of a man's man; and was definitely very well respected by his peers and players. Sad to hear he passed at such a young age.

Speaking of health issues.... Jane's brother John had bypass surgery on Tuesday. I guess it took way longer than they thought due to scar tissue from his bypass surgery 20+ years ago, but it seems that he is doing well. There were pictures of him walking yesterday, and he called Jane last night. So that's good.

There are a few other things I was going to mention but..... I think I'll just stop here. Yesterday was kind of a good day - other than the sad news at the end.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We're #1

I was sitting at work trying to stay awake yesterday when a lady walked in and presented this plaque to me. Cool! I have no idea what it really means or how the winner was chosen or anything, but after being made to feel that the previous 14 years of my life were a total waste, I'll take it!

I do realize this had very little to do with me - I just happen to be the manager working there now - but still... this sucker is hanging on MY office wall. :) And I do like where I work. I started here at the beginning of the year. I wasn't really even looking for a job yet; it just sort of happened (thanks to my son-in-law). No, it's not my dream job, nor do I want to do it forever, but it is a very nice storage facility and the people I work with and for are really nice. It has been good for me.

My facility has 27 buildings, housing around 750 storage units (once construction is finished on our current project), we offer both climate-controlled and conventional storage, and it is in one of the fastest growing parts of this beautiful city of 250,000+. Sure, it is also the most expensive storage facility in town, but I do like to think it's one of the best too. I know, as the manager, I do my best to keep it looking and running good. We also have one building of office suites (and one is currently available if you know someone looking for prime office/business space along a major thoroughfare).

So there ya go... It's not a "major award" like a leg lamp or anything... but it's somethin'.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Parental visit... and things

My parents came for another visit this past weekend. I always wonder when it will be the last one. My dad will soon be 82 and my mom 77, and my mom does all the driving. Dad pretty much just slept the entire time they were here. They arrived Saturday afternoon - just as we needed to leave to go to Bennett's birthday party, and they left Monday early afternoon, even though they were supposed to be staying until Tuesday morning. I think my mom would like to stay and hang out with Jane, Carrie and the kids - probably for weeks at a time - but dad just can't be away from home for some reason. He's pretty much miserable anytime he travels anywhere. Actually, he pretty much just seems to be miserable and grumpy most of the time, period.

Anyway, I was glad they made it out for B's birthday; I was glad mom got to go shopping with Jane, Carrie and Anna; and I'm glad they made it back home last night. It takes them about 7 hours to make the 5 1/2 hour trip, and they drove through some heavy rain last night.

One kinda funny thing.... I don't remember if it was Saturday night or Sunday morning, but my mom said they were thinking they might go to our old church for Sunday worship (as in, the one that fired me). She just wanted to see how people would react. I'm not sure 'how' serious she was, but I think she would have done it had we not convinced her not to. She can be funny like that. :)

We took them to the church near our house instead. It was our third for fourth time there. The worship leader wasn't quite so bad, but there just seem to be way too many people that are trying so hard to be "cool" that.... I just don't know. Maybe we need to quit trying so hard to find a church. Ugh.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Comment policy reminder/review

There are often some really good comments left on this blog. I just want ya'll to know that I do appreciate them. I've been tempted to respond to some of them lately, but decided to quit responding/interacting some time ago... for a variety of reasons. Please don't think my lack of response means I don't appreciate your input, or care about you, or what someone has said, or any such thing. I simply don't want to get into the habit of interacting online again just yet. I hope you understand, and will continue to leave comments - though I understand if you don't. :)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

B turns 2

Today is our grandson Bennett's 2nd birthday. He goes by Bennett, Benny, Buddy, or simply B. He is also one of the happiest, laid back kids I know.

We are going over to the Feipel's for his birthday party in a little while. We are waiting on my parents to get here from Illinois. I think it's just a small family gathering, and we're having hot dogs on the grill. Should be fun. It is a nice sunny day, even though it's a little chilly (mid-50's).

We got him a monkey hat and a Fisher-Price basketball hoop that fits on the back of a door.

Here are a couple of my favorite photo's of him. Happy Birthday, B!!! Love, Grandpa.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Who am i... (three little words)

In my 502 coaching class we had an exercise where we had to come up with 3 adjectives that described ourselves. After we did that, we then broke up into groups, and 2 other people offered their description of each of us. I thought it was quite interesting.

At first, when thinking about 3 adjectives to describe myself, I came up with 1) moody, 2) difficult, and 3) complicated. I eventually admitted that, while I can often be like that, it wasn't entirely true, nor very helpful. It's much to easy to put ourselves down.

I did recall that one time someone asked Jane to describe me in one word, and she chose the word "intense." I was totally blown away by that, because I had never thought of myself as a very intense person. But after thinking about it, I have since come to realize how right she was.

So, the 3 adjectives I came up with to describe myself were:

  1. Contemplative
  2. Intense
  3. Loyal
What I found even more interesting were some of the adjectives my two partners in the exercise came up with (Ben T. and Steve W.). They described me as:
  • Deep-thinker (contemplative)
  • Innovative 
  • Pioneering
  • Smart
  • Hardworking
  • Caring
So... there ya go. I am happy with that. I could be many things, but I think those are all pretty apt descriptors of yours truly. I highly recommend this for anyone - to spend some time thinking about the adjectives that best describe you, and then ask a couple sincere friends to do the same.